Security

Google boosts G Suite manageability with enterprise-grade security controls

Google recently announced that its G Suite set of applications would be getting improved analytics, security key enforcement, and additional data loss prevention tools.

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Image: iStockphoto/Kirill_Savenko

Google announced on Tuesday that it would be improving the G Suite with new security tools and controls to better protect sensitive data. Google announced the updates in a blog post, noting that the changes could offer the kind of visibility often expected by regulators and CTOs.

The new "enterprise-grade" controls exist in three parts: Security key enforcement for more access control, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and S/MIME encryption across certain G Suite apps, and additional analytics capabilities.

When Google added two-step verification in 2011, it opened up the opportunity for administrators to opt-in to using security keys with company Google accounts, the post said. For those unfamiliar, security keys are physical devices that pair with a device wirelessly and authenticate a user through a Bluetooth or NFC connection. Now, G Suite administrators can limit login only to users who have a security key, the post said, while adding additional key management features and the ability to view usage reports.

SEE: Google Cloud ups encryption efforts with new key management service

DLP, which was introduced to Gmail in 2015, is now being extended to Google Drive, the post said. Much like DLP in Gmail, DLP for Google Drive will have easy-to-set-up rules, optical character recognition (OCR) image scanning, and the ability for admins to customize its use, the post said. The goal is to give admins better control over the sharing of confidential business information.

Google is also rolling out S/MIME encryption for Gmail to better protect potentially sensitive corporate data in emails. According to the post, allowing users to bring their own certificates could protect against other email services with more lax security standards. Administrators will have the ability to enforce S/MIME usage, while also being able to set DLP rules for individual business units.

To make it easier for organizations to glean insights from the data found in their Gmail logs, Google is also launching a BigQuery to improve analysis. Admins will be able to run queries, perform data analysis, and build dashboards to better understand the data, the post said. G Suite customers will also be able to more easily integrate third-party archiving solutions with Gmail.

The announcement follows a steady stream of security updates Google has made to its G Suite products. While G Suite has had the ability to be configured for HIPAA compliance, Google recently added new encryption key management features and MDM solutions as well.

According to its post, Google now claims more than 3 million businesses as customers of G Suite, including major Whirlpool, PWC, and Woolworths. If the company continues to target enterprise use cases in its updates, it could continue to grow that number.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. G Suite admins will now be able to use security key management to limit account access solely to users with a security key.
  2. Google Drive is getting new DLP updates, and Gmail will have S/MIME encryption to better protect against other email providers without advanced security tools.
  3. A new BigQuery integration with Gmail will give admins better insights into their Gmail log data.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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